André Fortin nominated as Liberal candidate for Pontiac

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by: 

Kate Aley

The auditorium of Onslow Elementary School was filled with supporters of MNA for Pontiac André​ Fortin on Saturday March 10. The gathering marked the re-nomination of Fortin to represent the Liberal party in the upcoming provincial elections. Community members, councilors for the Municipality of Pontiac and MRC Pontiac mayors and wardens, both past and present, were in attendance.

Preceding the announcement of Fortin's uncontested nomination, a number of speakers addressed the audience, including West Quebec School Board chairman James Shea, Quebec's Finance Minister Carlos Leitão and MRC Pontiac's warden Jane Toller. Video messages of support were sent by MP for Hull-Aylmer Greg Fergus, MP for Pontiac Will Amos and Premier of Quebec Philippe Couillard.

Fortin spent time before the meeting greeting members of the community.

Warden Toller remarked that Fortin "truly deserved the title 'Champion of the Pontiac'. He understands not only what we need and where we need to go but how to get us there".

First elected in 2014, André​ Fortin has been involved in many projects that directly affect the Municipality of Pontiac, including the addition to the Notre-Dame-de-la-Joie elementary school building in Luskville, the creation of a regional hops growers collective (Houblon Pontiac) and improvements to Highway 148 in Breckenridge. Permission for the construction of a slaughterhouse for locally grown meat was achieved this year. After many years of community and political effort, the hemodialysis unit at the Shawville hospital is expected to begin operation in September.

Fortin was appointed as Minister of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification in 2017. 

"The community is well represented by ​André​​ Fortin in Quebec City," said Minister Leitão. "He reminds us to be well aware of the everyday needs and preoccupations and it is good for us to be reminded of that. To have someone of this generation actively representing you in Quebec City gives us a new sense of energy." Leitã​o went on to deny that the province is "on a downward slide to nowhere" under the Liberal party, as he claims the media suggests.

After his nomination was officially declared, Fortin addressed the gathering, specifically thanking his family and individual political supporters. 

To James Shea, who also acts as president of QCGN (Quebec Community Groups Network which works for English-speaking Quebecers as part of its mandate), Fortin stated, "you can be sure, damn sure Jim, no matter who is across the aisle from me [...], no matter whoever they are, nobody, when I am there, nobody will be allowed to trample on English language rights, on minority language rights."

Fortin expressed a positive view of the future for this region. "I would constantly hear the Pontiac is the poorest MRC in the province [...] and I heard it because it was true," he said. "But today we don't hear it anymore, it's not true anymore. We talk of positive initiatives, of new businesses setting up shop, of growth through economic development, we talk about [...] the possibility of a decent opportunity for our children, here at home in the Pontiac."

The presence of Fortin's two young daughters, dressed in fairy wings and snow boots, added to the light-hearted atmosphere of the event.

"Pontiacers still want to see their government, all levels of government, cooperate to foster all economic development," Fortin continued. "It's always been the number one issue here, the key to this region's prosperity and long-term success.

"Aylmerites want more services,they want a better, more targeted approach to education, they want proximity to healthcare services. Like many Quebecers, they want an improved, a modernized transport system that they can rely on, day in, day out. I still have many ideas on how to we can make Pontiac better, on how we can make Aylmer better, and how we can make government better and how I can do so by giving you just about every ounce of energy I've got while representing you in Quebec City, by being the representative that I hope you can be proud of, and by always putting forward the values that we share as Liberals. The Liberal party will always put economic development first, but will do so in order to achieve greater social justice."

Fortin's speech was met with a standing ovation. The Quebec provincial election will be held Monday October 1.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Open letter to the Municipality of Pontiac recognizing the work of our municipal firefighters

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by: 

Sandra Barber

To whom it may concern:

Re: Recognition of volunteer Firefighters

While sitting at our dining table enjoying our first coffee of the day on Sunday, May 20 at 6 a.m., my husband and I both heard a very loud “thunk” and wondered what the heck it was. Curiosity motivated my husband to investigate further; he checked our basement, nothing amiss. Checked the living room located on a lower level, noticed a man sitting outside on the guard rail.

Kickin' it: Pontiac youth get into soccer

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by: 

Kate Aley

Some might say that young people are glued to their screens all day and all night. But that's harder to say when so many bright young people are running, kicking, playing and laughing in Luskville every Monday evening.
Community soccer classes started up on Tuesday, May 1st at the Luskville Recreational Park. The two- to four year-olds play in the softball field. The older group, aged five and up, play on the soccer field to the north.

How do rural communities comply with Quebec's Organic Strategy?

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by: 

Kevin Brady

Current Situation:

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and an eventual a 'ban' of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020. Municipalities that comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs. As with the Municipality of Pontiac, many municipalities have chosen to pass resolutions to initiate door-to-door collection, with costs paid for by the residents.

Get ready, get set, get out: disaster preparedness in a bag

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by: 

Kate Aley

Remember this?

As the Pontiac watches epic levels of flooding in both New Brunswick and B.C. and considers our own possible return to inundation, it's time to let paranoia rear its helpful head and get ready to get out of the house. The concept behind having a so-called Go Bag is to have ready everything you might need to survive, out-of-doors, for about 72 hours... until help arrives or the zombies get you.

Salon Chez Hélène celebrates 40 years in business

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by: 

Kate Aley

Hélène Belisle, owner of Salon Chez Hélène in Luskville, summarizes her work career as “forty years of doing what I like.”

Born and raised in Luskville, Belisle trained and gained work experience in Hull before opening her own salon in her home in 1978. However, her experience in hairdressing dates back to her childhood.

Pontiac Community Players put on fundraising play

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by: 

Kate Aley

A hilarious one-hour play called Maid to Order was presented in Shawville April 13 and 14 by local theatre troupe, the Pontiac Community Players (PCP). Sold-out on both evenings, the profits will go towards the Pontiac High School restoration project to update lighting, sound and add a 20-foot electronic screen to be used for both school and community movie screenings. Further improvements to seating and ventilation are planned.

Above, hapless police officers Craig Young (left) and Neil MacIntosh (right) ask the slightly-shady Charles Cambin (Richard Armitage) to explain himself.

Another community hub lost: Depanneur Poirier closes down

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by: 

Kate Aley

Depanneur Poirier, at the intersection of the highway and Ch. des Pères-Dominicains, has closed. The last day of business was Thursday 22 but the owners, Janet and Jack Deschenes have been emptying shelves for weeks.

Bunny fun: Luskville playgroup celebrates Easter

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by: 

Kate Aley

Spring is here we're told, but it's still so gray and cold outside. Where can you take your under 5's when you have exhausted all the DVD options? To the free playgroup in Luskville, of course.

Above from left, Comité 0-5 animator Lisa Corrigan with personal friend Helga the rabbit and an ardent admirer at the Luskville playgroup's Easter event.

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